Many of us no doubt asked, how are they going to top the previous night? If Tuesday was sweatin' to the oldies, Wednesday had a more recent focus, and was evidence that the band continues to develop into a piledriver. Phish gets a bad rap for so-called repeats, but I think they are oblivious to that concept and play what they think people want to hear. I am thankful for that, as I generally get to one show per tour, and even though I hear every show, there is no substitute for being there--hearing it and digging Kuroda's indescribable lightscapes. Just about every song was nailed, or beyond. KDF was a surprise opener, well rocked. 46 Days was greasy. Sugar Shack demands precision and is getting it. Trey went for the record quiet spot in Divided Sky. Ocelot ended with a remarkable jam. Antelope was an absolute rage. Birds was tight as hell. Tweezer rattled the rafters--well, I'm 3-for-3 with Tweezers this year, I think I'll have a t-shirt made. YEM was stunning--Mr. Gordon laid the cold steel to it, capped by a remarkable solo. TTE--some people bitch about this sing but I remember when the Dead rolled out Terrapin and everyone was scratching their heads...Phish is polishing this every time they play it. This one shined. Oh! Sweet Nuthin' just makes me smile, made me think of a friend, and caused me to whip out 10-31-98 for the ride home.
Phish is working it out, big time. I don't know how...but I think the process of rehearsing and performing Exile for Festival 8 has got them steeped in the gutbucket. Listen to Trey, for God's sake, chunking those chords and reeling off shimmering leads as if Keith Richards and Mick Taylor were both fightin' over those fingers. They are ripping the roof off every venue. It is scary good to think what this band will be like by next summer.